A lawyer for fired New York 1 reporter Adele Sammarco said she had been subjected to years of sexually offensive conduct and "humiliation and embarrassment" as a gender bias case against Time Warner's all-news 24-hour New York City cable station began Monday.
Lawyer Andrew Laufer, in an opening statement in federal court in Brooklyn, said management didn't pay Sammarco equal wages and retaliated when she complained about incidents that included forcible kissing by another reporter and a mocked-up photo of her with sexual overtones.
"This picture showed Ms. Sammarco's chest enlarged, and it was passed around to various employees," Laufer told the seven-man, five-woman jury.
Sammarco, 39, was one of the original reporters at NY1 when it began operations in 1992. She covered Staten Island, environmental and police beats before being let go in 2001.
Bettina Pleven, the lawyer for Time Warner, news executives Steven Paulus and Peter Landis and former human resources director Elizabeth Fanfan, said Sammarco was a "complainer" who had exaggerated issues about the work environment when she faced termination because of poor job performance.
"She did not succeed ultimately because of some of her own shortcomings," Pleven said.